Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Price as Reviewed:£499.99
Panasonic introduces the premium compact-style Lumix DMC-GX1, its fourth current compact system camera in the range that packs the same number of pixels as its larger siblings
Viewfinder, LCD and Video
As a compact-style model, the Lumix DMC-GX1 does not feature any kind of viewfinder. Instead, the LVF2 electronic viewfinder is available to buy separately (£239). Once this cost is added to the ‘X’ lens, the price of the kit virtually matches the Sony NEX-7, which features the company’s innovative 2.359-million-dot EVF.
Having used the LVF2 viewfinder, it is not of the same standard as that in the NEX-7, but it is nevertheless an improvement on Panasonic’s first-generation unit. Panasonic’s LVF2 is compatible only with the GX1, and the older LVF1 viewfinder will not work with the camera. I like the smaller body of the GX1 and the option to add a viewfinder when I need it. After all, a compact system needs a compact body.
Much of the operation of the camera revolves around its 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen. Handily, virtually all the controls can be achieved via buttons on the body, too. The screen has a relatively low resolution by today’s standards, but its output is bright and natural, with a wide and clear viewing angle. Its accurate representation of images in playback is very helpful to ensure that an accurate exposure has been achieved.
The touchscreen in the Lumix G models is the most successful attempt at incorporating this technology in a camera. It is responsive and particularly helpful by offering touch AF and metering.
There are several ways to control the camera through the touchscreen. In creative control mode, for example, a touch slider can be used for aperture control. In short, the touchscreen enhances the handling and speed of use.
Video users will appreciate full 1080/60i videos at 30fps, with stereo sound. I captured several videos with the 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, which features optical image stabilisation, and was very happy with the results. Full-resolution videos are available in AVCHD and the popular MPEG-4 format, providing compatibility with a wide range of devices.
The 15.8-million-pixel sensor is capable of capturing a high level of detail
- White Balance: Auto, 5 presets, 2 custom, Kelvin, all with fine-tuning
- Video: Full 1920×1080, 50i AVCHD 25fps (PAL), 1920x1080 MPEG-4 (30fps)
- Built-in Flash: Yes. GN 7.6m @ ISO 160 (6.3m @ ISO 100)
- Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Viewfinder Type: Optional LVF2 electronic viewfinder
- Output Size: 4592x3448 pixels (15.8 million pixels)
- LCD: 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen LCD
- Field of View: 100% on LCD
- White Balance Bracket: 3 frames
- AF Points: 23-area and touch focus anywhere in the frame
- Sensor: 16-million-effective-pixel Live MOS
- Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
- Focal Length Mag: 2x
- Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, iA+, 17 scene modes
- Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote release
- Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion
- Weight: 272g (body only) or 413g (with battery, card and 14-42mm lens)
- Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec, bulb
- File Format: JPEG, RW2 (raw), raw + JPEG, MPO (when attaching 3D lens in micro four thirds-system standard), AVCHD, MPEG-4
- Drive Mode: 4fps for 7 frames in raw, 20fps or unlimited JPEGs at a reduced 4-million-pixel resolution
- Dimensions: 116x68x39mm
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- Compression: 2-stage JPEG
- Metering System: 144-zone, multi-pattern sensing system with options for spot, centreweighted and multi-segment metering
- Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1/3 steps
- Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
- ISO: 160-12,800
- Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, face detection, AF tracking, 23-area, 1-area-focusing, pinpoint, touch
- DoF Preview: Yes, with shutter speed simulation
- Tested as: High-end CSC